Plant Diseases

Gray Mold (Botrytis Blight)

Gray Mold (Botrytis Blight)
Tap to view larger image
 
The gray mold that afflicts garden plants is the very same organism you'll often see on elderly boxed strawberries at the supermarket. Also known as botrytis blight, the disease is caused by a fungus that thrives in shady conditions and crowded plantings; it's especially common in cool, humid climates. The spores are spread by wind and water. Gray mold usually begins on plant debris and old plant tissue (such as spent flowers and overripe fruit), then invades actively growing tissue.

Target: Many flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Damage: Soft tan to brown blotches form on plant parts, then become covered with a coarse, grayish mold. The mold may turn slimy as the tissue beneath it rots.

Control: Good air circulation. fungicides

Notes: Water early in the day, so plants have time to dry by nightfall. Remove dead leaves and flowers to eliminate possible breeding grounds for infection; pick off diseased tissue.